Around the ages of 3-5, your child becomes like a sponge. They are able to move around a lot and discover new parts of the house. As a parent we want to protect them as best we can, however, sometimes the inevitable can happen. Poisoning can occur in a matter of seconds, and could be the difference between life and death. It is important as a parent to understand the symptoms as well as learn ways to prevent these instances from occurring.

While you should never leave your toddler unattended, it is important as a parent to realize that accidents occur and poisoning can happen simply from putting something in their mouth which is very common at this age. It is also important to remember that this is not a topic to take lightly; proper education on the parent’s behalf can be the lifesaver to their child.

Most cases of poisoning happen in the home. It can occur from the child swallowing something, placing something on their skin, spraying products on their skin or eyes, and also through inhalation. Usually the products are not securely put away and child begins to explore. Often times your toddler is simply trying to mimic an action they have seen you do before whether it’s spraying a cleaner, or taking medicine. Many times parents miscalculate where they place harmful objects or they believe their children cannot get to where the products are. An important rule of thumb is to NEVER assume. Your child is learning and changing everyday and one day they can’t climb over the safety gate and the next minute they’re up the stairs.

Common Household Poisons

It’s important to realize that to a toddler, many things can be poisonous. Certain products parents may not be aware could be harmful to the child. Medicine – all medicine that is not specifically for the child and/or given at the proper dosage can be deemed poison

Cleaning Products

All cleaning supplies are hazardous, especially ones with lots of chemicals such as bleach.

Other Hazards

Automotive products, pest control products, and lawn care products as well as certain plants can be poisonous to your little one.

Not every child will display side effects if poisoned so it is important to pay close attention to your child at all times. If significant poisoning has occurred the symptoms will vary depending upon the amount of poison they ingested as well as the type of chemical.

Some of the typical signs of poisoning are:

  1. Nausea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Drowsiness
  4. Stomach pain

If you notice any of these symptoms it is important to immediately call 911 or rush to the emergency room. If however you don’t recognize any of these symptoms, but you know for a fact your child has taken something that could be poisonous get them medical attention right away. The sooner doctors can resolve the problem, the better. In this instance take a better safe than sorry approach.


Again every child and every circumstance is different. Parents must try the best that they can to protect their child from the dangers around the house. No one is perfect and accidents happen, but you must try your best to prevent as many hazards as you can. Once your child becomes mobile take a look in each room of your house to see which items should be moved. If the items cannot be removed, than be sure to put a safety lock on cabinets and drawers to keep your child out of harms way. Another great idea is to keep safety gates at all rooms with hazardous materials to prevent them from getting close. Do whatever you can as a parent to make sure that your child is safe.